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2010 Finke Blog

2010 Finke Blog - Presentation and Traveling home

As is tradition at Finke presentation the official results for Class 9 (quads) had been cocked up and the wrong riders called up for the places... it was a long night waiting for the proper order to be sorted out but finally Mick Roycroft, Chad McKay and Luke Beechey headed up and got their awards, a fun (if not a liitle tame) night by our usual standards for presentation night.

Smitty likes to have a day off before we head home so we didn't leave Alice Springs until 5am on Wednesday morning 2500km later (in 2 days) and we are finally all home and back to reality, especially after the last 3 hrs of the drive in my crappy old HiAce after spending 2200 kms in Smittys exceptionally comfotable Chevy Silverado, also there is another 4x4 event with a SxS class next weekend and it is well past time to start getting this TRX700XX ready for Safari not to mention trying to get to a few MX rounds in bettween so there is plenty coming up to keep us amused.

Thanks to all the sponsors that make going to events like these possible, Honda Australia, Barry Francis Motorcycles Honda, 47 Industries, Hardiman ATV, Ficeda Accessories, Vortex Ignitions, Hustler ATV and CRC.

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2010 Finke Blog - Race Day 1 & 2 and Service

Day 1

Well 5th Quad away didn't work out too bad and Smitty worked his way up to 2nd on the road but a flat tyre cost him some time to get fixed which saw him down there in 6th place. The 700xx needed little in the way of servce other than the regular oil and air filters and a quick going over. We also repaired the flat properly and re-set the tyre pressures.

Day one results for the Quads Class

1. Aaron Ovens Suzuki LTR450

2. Luke Beechey Polaris Outlaw 525

3. Mick Roycroft Polaris Outlaw 525

4. Chad McKay Can Am DS450XMX

5. Cam Wade Suzuki LTR450

6. Paul Smith Honda TRX700XX

Day 2

Up early for the trip back to Alice, the big 700XX is ready to go so we pack up and head off. 4hrs later back in Alice and waiting for the First quad to come in.... everyone had been expecting Ovens with the lead that he had overnight but Beechey has made it through after Ovens has had a big off, followed by McKay, Roycroft and Smith. Not a bad result considering the week that we have had leading up to this event.

Day 2 Provisional Results

1. Luke Beechey Polaris Outlaw 525

2. Chad McKay Can Am DS450XMX

3. Mick Roycroft Polaris Outlaw 525

4. Paul Smith Honda TRX700XX

5. Cam Wade Suzuki LTR450

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2010 Finke Blog - Prolouge and Race Prep

Today was set to be an easy day.... I wish.

9:00am we headed out to the start finish line for today's Prologue for the big race, the 700XX was still loaded up from Scrutineering last night so all we had to do was go out and race., after of course a quick trip out to Freddo from Three TORS Racing's house to drop off the remaining dry break fuel can for Smittys fuel stops that was kindly lent to us by Graham Murray. After watching the last of the Buggies do their prologue and once all the riders were signed in Smitty headed out to on a sighting lap of the track and to find out how the quad was going to handle after our lack of time with a running engine this week. Wanting to run a light load of fuel there was not much in the tank so it was decided after the sighting lap that maybe a small splash might not hurt (Thanks Wadey!).

Prologue turned out not so bad considering the week we have had so far and the little amount of time Paul has had on the quad, 5th in the Class and 43rd Outright make for a pretty early start time still and starting only 1 minute behind the top 3 quads and on the same minute as Cam Wade.

Top 5 Quads Prologue times:

931 Aaron Ovens Suzuki LTR450 5:41.06

988 Chad McKay Can Am DS450XMX5:42.62

937 Cam Wade Suzuki LTR450 5:45.53

901 Mick Roycroft Polaris Outlaw 525 5:49.51

927 Paul Smith Honda TRX700XX 5:50.40

For more detail on time as for updates during the race tomorrow you can check out www.finkedesertrace.com.au

After prologue was all done we headed back to our accommodation at the Desert Palms Resort for a little light servicing and to load up the truck for the service crew trip down to Finke..... it's never so easy though. Small thing kept cropping up throughout the service including the fact that the DMC muffler had a crack running right through its mount and all the way around it through the skin of the pipe.... good thing we know some people in this town and Smitty went off to get it repaired and braced whilst I finished the service.

The big TRX is now all ready for tomorrows race down to Finke and we have spent the evening with our mates from the Can Am X Team and fellow 47 Industries crew having dinner and discussing plans for a service crew convoy down to Finke in the morning. Here's hoping that the big TRX is up to the task of getting down and back in the hands of the red headed one.....

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2010 Finke Blog - Travel and Scrutineering

This race seems to come around so quickly every year, from January when we are talking about getting quads ready for the Condo 750 and Thumbpump 300 all of a sudden its Finke time again. This is the 6th time I've made the trip to Alice Springs for Australia's biggest desert race to support Paul "Smitty" Smith and the last 3 times he has managed to finish on the podium (and twice on the top step) so there are high hopes for this years campaign with Smitty now on a Honda TRX700XX.

The drive it's self has become much more comfortable now in Paul's new Chevy Silverado 2500 and this year as we only have the one quad it was decided to not tow the race trailer up and jsut go with the quad on the back of the truck and a rooftop camper (to stay in at Finke) so space was a bit tight but thankfully I was able to get some gear in Rob Van Vliets motorhome.

It has been an eventfull couple of days since we got here on Tuesday arvo though. Part of our development program with the big 700XX was to build up a motor for Finke but in the process there have been some drama's with some of the parts, firstly the new cam shaft had an issue with its de-compressor guide pin, making it hard to start the engine, before we left so off to see a welder to get the pin hard welded with Cro-Moly. So with the cam back in it was off for some test riding. Smitty put in a couple of laps at our Alice Springs testing track then out for some gearing tests, then on his 2nd run (after some changes to the ignition settings) Smitty felt that the engine was going to seize so he shut it down. After a drive down the road to get him and head back to the Desert Palms Resort where we are staying I then got the task of tearing down an engine out side out room. The new high comp piston was looking pretty sad and had left a bit of material on the cylinder walls but after a quick hone the cylinder looked to be OK, by this timw though it was getting dark so it was time to call it a night and head off to the anual quad riders dinner at the Alice Springs Golf Club.

Up again and while most of the crew headed out for a round of golf, the stock piston went back in (along with the stock cam) and the big girl was back in business. Now with no more time to test ride the 700 was stickered up ready (Number 927, not Smitty usual number for Finke as it was taken by Chloe Beer) to go to Scrutineering which is where I am sitting now, finally with some time to get on the net and type this up........

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